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Award-winning investigative reporters Yvette Cabrera and Aaron Mendelson will join the Center for Public Integrity as the newsroom expands its reporting on inequality in the U.S.

Cabrera, a senior writer at environmental journalism nonprofit Grist, will start work May 9 as a senior reporter covering inequality in economic and social well-being.

Yvette Cabrera

Mendelson, senior reporter for data and investigations at Southern California Public Radio, will start work June 6 as a reporter covering threats to multiracial democracy.

“I’m delighted to have both Yvette and Aaron join Public Integrity’s team,” said Editor Mc Nelly Torres, who leads one of Public Integrity’s reporting teams. “Both have impressive track records of producing investigative work and covering issues that affect communities of color. I’m excited about the future and the work they will produce to shed light on inequalities in our country.”

Cabrera has covered environmental health, policy and justice at Grist since 2019. Previously, she was an environmental justice reporter at HuffPost and an investigative reporter at ThinkProgress covering criminal justice, immigration and environmental issues. She started her career as a reporter at the Los Angeles Daily News and was a metro columnist and reporter for the Orange County Register for more than a decade. 

Her investigation for Grist on the pervasiveness of lead contamination led to a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship this year for which she’s building a resource guide for journalists covering lead contamination in urban centers.

Aaron Mendelson

She’s also been a leader in cultivating a more diverse and inclusive journalism industry and currently serves as vice president for digital of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists national board.

Cabrera is a graduate of Occidental College. Her work has been recognized with numerous honors, including journalism fellowships with John Jay College, Loyola, Berkeley and Vermont Law School.

“I’m honored to join an investigative news organization that’s deeply committed to exposing social and economic inequalities across the country, issues that I’ve dedicated my career to covering,” Cabrera said. “As the daughter of Mexican immigrants who taught me the importance of speaking up to address wrongdoing, I became a reporter because I saw a void in news coverage that focused on addressing the systemic problems facing our most vulnerable communities. I’m thrilled to join a team of hard-hitting investigative journalists who are dedicated to reporting on some of the most pressing issues of our time, particularly the systemic inequities that pervade every aspect of our society.” 

Mendelson has worked at KPCC for the past seven years, producing data-driven enterprise and investigative stories in both text and for radio. His investigation into a massive slumlord real estate empire in Los Angeles was recognized with an Investigative Reporters & Editors award last year. He built a database of police shootings in Southern California for KPCC’s Officer Involved project and has covered spiking firearms sales, Los Angeles’ bicycle infrastructure, police militarization and the influence of outside money in local politics. His work has been recognized with a Gerald Loeb Award for Local Reporting, a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for News Documentaries, and multiple Online News Association awards.

For the past three years, he’s also taught data journalism at the University of Southern California. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley. 

“I’m thrilled to join Public Integrity,” Mendelson said. “Investigative reporting on inequality and democracy couldn’t be more important at this moment in history, and I look forward to doing the kind of data and document-driven reporting, grounded in people’s real-life experiences, that Public Integrity has long been known for.”

Founded in 1989, Public Integrity is a Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit news organization dedicated to investigating systems and circumstances that contribute to inequality in the United States. Areas of focus include equity in employment, housing, education, health care and access to democracy.


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